Milwaukee Bucks: Grading Khris Middleton’s season at the All-Star break

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 08 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 08 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The 2020-21 NBA season changed the way people would think about Khris Middleton forever. After years of being criticized and told that he could not be the second option on a championship team with the Milwaukee Bucks, Middleton proved his doubters wrong by putting on an insanely clutch playoff run to help Milwaukee become the champs again. Winning it lifted a massive weight off his shoulders after years of the team coming up short, and everyone was curious to see if that ring would give him some added confidence throughout the 2021-22 season.

Assessing Khris Middleton’s 2021-22 season with the Milwaukee Bucks at the All-Star break

First and foremost, Middleton is an All-Star this season. The forward was selected to play in the big game this season after being snubbed last year, which confused some people, considering that Middleton is putting up some of the worst numbers of his career this season. Over 48 games, he has averaged 19.4 points on a .438/.356/.884 slash line, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 32.1 minutes per game, all of which are down compared to last season.

It has been a tough year offensively for Middleton. While 19.4 points per game is nothing to scoff at, his efficiency has been problematic. The All-Star is shooting a career-low 43.8 percent from the floor, which has certainly hindered his overall production. However, that number can be somewhat deceitful, as Middleton’s 2-point percentage is 49.9 percent this year, which is just slightly below the 50.8 percent of 2-pointers he hit last season. In fact, According to, Middleton has been more efficient in the mid-range this season, shooting 43.7 percent in that area prior to the All-Star break last year compared to 47.7 percent this season.

Middleton’s lackluster field goal percentage can largely be attributed to his 3-point shooting this season, as he is hitting just 35.6 percent of his triples. That is the second-worst mark of his NBA career, with his rookie season as a member of the Detroit Pistons, having shot just 31.1 percent, ranking worse. However, Middleton shot just 1.7 threes on average that season compared to a new career-high 6.4 attempts per game this season. He has relied on the three-ball more than ever in 2021-22, but Middleton has simply failed to find a rhythm. This shooting has caused most of his problems offensively this season, as evidenced in Milwaukee’s last game against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, where he shot a grueling 2-of-12 from distance.

In addition to his 3-point shot, turnovers have been an issue for Middleton, as he is averaging a new career-high 2.9 per game this season. For whatever reason, the forward has looked sloppy with his ball-handling throughout the year, making questionable decisions and passes that have led to opportunities for the other team. Considering how well Middleton has typically taken care of the basketball in the past, this has been tough to watch at times.

Many have pointed to fatigue as a reason for Middleton’s troubles this season. Given that he won an NBA championship and then immediately flew across the world to help win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics before having to endure one of the shortest offseasons ever, that is valid. It should not serve as an excuse, but it is understandable. Having reached the All-Star break, Middleton has a shot to recharge and regain his footing once the Milwaukee Bucks return to action this week.

The two most prominent areas he needs to address are the turnovers and the 3-point shooting, as he has struggled mightily in both this season. If Middleton can return to form in these two aspects of his game, which he undoubtedly can, it would certainly help him and the Bucks in their quest to repeat as NBA Champions.

BTBP All-Star Break Grade: B

dark. Next. Grading the Milwaukee Bucks’ trade deadline deal for Serge Ibaka

For now, the All-Star forward has some rest to catch up on before the Milwaukee Bucks get back in action following the All-Star break.